Thursday, January 11, 2018

10 Years Later - Still Standardizing Aero Ku/Ka Satcom

With a two hour telecon in Jan 2008, the SAE/ITC AEEC Ku/Ka-band Satcom Subcommittee started to work together.  What ever happened?

10 years and 122 gatherings later, we are still at it!  Here we are today @ThinKom_Inc.

Thanks to all that have participated and especially those that contributed.

We had formed from a meeting in Dec. 2007, as a technical working group under Cabin Systems.
BoeingAirplanes and Airbus promoted the working group to standardize the complex system.
I agreed to be Chairman, organized the first telecon, and put together a starting proposal.

By the summer of 2008, we had met twice and were on a telecon every month. We agreed to accommodate all the different configurations in the market with a superset solution of provisions.

By now we had figured out the architecture, named the boxes, and were working on the wiring.

ARINC 791 Part 1 was published in 2011.  We produced supplement 1 late in 2012 and supplement 2 in 2014.  We are working on supplement 3 currently.

Here is the current 791 architecture.

ARINC 791 Part 2 functional definitions, what signals go over the interconnections. We developed Antenna/Modem Interface Protocol, Network Architecture, ARINC 429 interface, Power, Airplane Structural Blockage.

Published in 2013, revised in 2014, now working on supplement 2.

We have been toiling on Project Paper 792 for over three years now, finally the end in sight. The system has been reduced by one LRU, the fittings can accommodate a multitude of aperture sizes up to 42", the wiring is greatly simplified. We expect adoption in April this year.

Finally, Project Paper 848, Media-Independent Secure Offboard Network #MISON was moved to Network Infrastructure and Security #NIS to represent all radio interfaces. End-End VPN provides a secure link between airplane and enterprise on the ground. Look for publication in 2019.

Stay tuned!

Peter Lemme

peter @
Follow me on twitter: @Satcom_Guru
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

Peter Lemme has been a leader in avionics engineering for 35 years. He offers independent consulting services largely focused on avionics and L, Ku, and Ka band satellite communications to aircraft. Peter chairs the SAE-ITC AEEC Ku/Ka-band satcom subcommittee, developing ARINC 791 and 792 characteristics and contributes to the Network Infrastructure and Interfaces (NIS) subcommittee developing Project Paper 848, standard for Media Independent Secure Offboard Network.

Peter was Boeing avionics supervisor for 767 and 747-400 data link recording, data link reporting, and satellite communications. He was an FAA designated engineering representative (DER) for ACARS, satellite communications, DFDAU, DFDR, ACMS and printers. Peter was lead engineer for Thrust Management System (757, 767, 747-400), also supervisor for satellite communications for 777, and was manager of terminal-area projects (GLS, MLS, enhanced vision).

An instrument-rated private pilot, single engine land and sea, Peter has enjoyed perspectives from both operating and designing airplanes. Hundreds of hours of flight test analysis and thousands of hours in simulators have given him an appreciation for the many aspects that drive aviation; whether tandem complexity, policy, human, or technical; and the difficulties and challenges to achieving success.


  1. You've done a great job, Peter, with this and other industry committees and standards. Your satcom_guru title may well be self-created but it is appropriate and well-deserved. Sorry to say that I only recognize Christian Schaupmann [I think it's him] and yourself in the photos - I may just not recognize some of the others, but you must have also added a lot of "new" members. Continued best wishes to you and the committee! from Bob Lehman, retired Honeywell

    1. Hi Bob! Dan Cordell and I were just reminiscing about you at lunch today. You are a most organized and thorough participant, and I sorely miss your help. Mark Sorensen from NWA/Delta was there, too, sporting a new moustash. What has kept me going is the opportunity to interact and work with such a capable community of engineers. Varied skills, interests, and backgrounds coupled with a willingness for fun is a recipe I cannot get enough of. Enjoy your family and keep learning. Cheers! PS, did you notice the 792 The new lug layout was Chris and his associate Markus